The PJ Tatler

Who Among All These GOP Presidential Candidates Is Serious?

Governor Scott Walker, whose national celebrity has risen during highly publicized confrontations with Wisconsin’s public employee unions, announced his candidacy for president on Monday. It’s expected that, by summer’s end, we’ll have at least 17 announced GOP candidates for president.

It could be that all of those 17 believe they have a legitimate shot at securing the nomination and getting elected to succeed Barack Obama. However, a report from the Associated Press highlights other motivations for running which have nothing to do with actually becoming president:

“You have the opportunity to become a personality in a relatively short period of time,” says [Tony] Fratto[, a Washington consultant who worked for President George W. Bush]. “You get on the national stage, your name ID is elevated and that can translate into writing books, giving speeches and getting an opportunity to go on TV.” Not to mention a potential job as vice president or in the Cabinet.

It worked for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who’s running again after parlaying his losing candidacy in the 2008 primaries into political celebrity, including TV and radio shows and book deals.

Perhaps we shouldn’t fault candidates for running to promote themselves. If it grants them a platform from which to promote a vision for America, then it stands as a kind of political activism.

That said, donors and volunteers might be interested to know whether their candidate of choice intends to stage a serious campaign. “Is this about selling books?” seems a fair question for any candidate.